Blogs

Henning, Keedy & Lee
"Your Family's Law Firm"

Contract1200x800

Collaborative Divorce Agreements

COLLABORATE, DON’T LITIGATE!

Divorce is an ugly 7-letter word: if you have children, it is worse. Many attorneys in states other than Montana offer what’s called “collaborative” divorces. Because of its size, and the lack of sufficient numbers of attorneys (yes, I’m saying there aren’t enough attorneys, contrary to popular belief!), a completely structured collaborative law process or statute in Montana is just a gleam in my eye. . .however, a form of collaboration will work here and is currently working in the Kalispell area. Here’s what it’s about:

Under a collaborative system, the parties agree from the get go that they will try NOT to litigate their issues (unless the process of negotiating completely breaks down). They each have an attorney and the process of disclosures/division of assets and liabilities, crafting a parenting plan, and dealing with maintenance and child support is done, if not face-to-face, then at least in a cooperative setting. The attorneys that are hired must sign an agreement that they, themselves, will not represent either party in any litigation that does occur, if any. The key here is cooperation; relationships involving domestic violence, abuse of any nature or mental illnesses usually won’t work collaboratively.
The parties also, if necessary, hire jointly any “experts” they may need including appraisers, parenting evaluators, psychologist/psychiatrists, GAL(s) for the children or a mediator, etc, so that, instead of a battle of experts, the parties cooperatively disclose everything they should to a single expert in the necessary field of expertise, and that expert’s evaluation and recommendations are, essentially, binding on both parties. The key here is cooperation; relationships involving domestic violence, abuse of any nature or mental illnesses usually won’t work collaboratively.

I practice a modified version of the above in my firm as most family lawyers in Kalispell and elsewhere in Montana try to work out resolutions that are in the best interests of all the family members, which is how a divorce should be resolved! If an appraisal of a home, for example, is needed, a qualified appraiser or realtor can be used by both parties. This avoids “expert-shopping” and, more importantly, conflict.

Can this work for you? A divorce that works for the whole family? It should, and it can.

About the Author

Kay Lynn LeeHailing originally from Georgia, Kay Lynn Lee received her BS from the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 1984 and her JD from the University of San Diego in 1987. Deciding to retire 2004, she discovered it did not suit, so she “unretired” in 2005. She now practices primarily in the field of family law which is both a joy and a challenge.View all posts by Kay Lynn Lee →

  1. Nikon Camera ReviewsNikon Camera Reviews04-01-2012

    Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.
    bestdigitalcamerasreview.net

  2. notebook reviewnotebook review04-13-2012

    Major thankies for the article post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.

  3. Angelo GravlinAngelo Gravlin04-17-2012

    I just added this blog to my rss reader, excellent stuff. Can’t get enough!

  4. Inocencia DensfordInocencia Densford04-18-2012

    Hello there, This article could hardly be composed any better! Perusing this posting reminds me of my pal. She continually kept chatting relating to this. I am going to forward this page to her. I am confident she’ll have a good read. Kudos for discussing!

  5. From the article I can tell you know what your talking about. Thank you for sharing this quality information. Please post some other articles on the same topic.

Disclaimer: This website is intended to be used only for educational purposes, to give you a general understanding of the law and is not intended to provide specific legal advice to any situation. Laws vary from state to state and the information contained in this website addresses only Montana law, unless otherwise noted. Legal issues are varied and complex and this website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an attorney in your state. If you have a specific questions regarding your situation, please call an attorney. None of the information contained on this website creates an attorney-client privilege.

%d bloggers like this: